Joint press conference

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at Exercise Griffin Storm 2023

  • 26 Jun. 2023 -
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  • Mis à jour le: 26 Jun. 2023 15:57

(As delivered)

Dear Gitanas,
dear Boris,

It is good to be together - we both are here today and to watch this exercise which is so important for the whole Alliance. And it’s also great to be together with you, just two weeks from the Vilnius Summit, so the NATO Summit, here in Lithuania.

We just had the opportunity to meet some of the Lithuanian and the German troops participating in Exercise Griffin Storm.
And I thank them for their impressive skills and service.

Griffin Storm is one of the biggest exercises in the region this year.
And demonstrates the ability to rapidly scale up the German-led NATO battlegroup to brigade size.

With the German personnel and military vehicles deployed, operating seamlessly alongside the Lithuanian forces.

This exercise sends a clear message:  NATO is ready to defend every inch of Allied territory.

There are now over 40,000 troops under NATO command primarily in the eastern part of the Alliance. Backed by significant air and naval power.

We are demonstrating that we can also reinforce quickly, whenever needed.

Further strengthening our deterrence and defence will be high on the agenda at the Vilnius Summit.

We are now putting in place new regional plans, with specific forces and capabilities
assigned to the defence of specific Allies. These forces will exercise together regularly.

We also agreed a new rotational model for air and missile defence.
To allow for swift transition from air policing to air defence.

The accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO will further strengthen Baltic security.
I spoke yesterday to President Erdogan and I'm also in contact with the Swedish and the Finnish government. And we agreed to convene a high level meeting in Brussels before the Summit. This meeting will include foreign ministers, heads of intelligence, and national security advisors. The aim is to make progress in completing Sweden's accession to NATO.

Support to Ukraine is top priority for the Summit.
And I commend both Lithuania and Germany for providing critical support and training, which helps save lives every day.

At the Summit, we will agree a multi-year package of assistance,
and upgrade our political ties with Ukraine.
This will bring Ukraine closer to its rightful place in NATO.

At the same time, we continue to monitor the ongoing situation in Russia.
The events over the weekend are an internal Russian matter.
And one more demonstration of the big strategic mistake that President Putin has made with his illegal war against Ukraine.

NATO is also monitoring the situation in Belarus.
Allies condemn Russia's announcement about the deployment of nuclear weapons to Belarus. This is reckless and irresponsible.

We don’t see any indication that Russia is preparing to use nuclear weapons.
But NATO remains vigilant.

We call on Belarus to stop its support for Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine.
Moscow is attempting to intimidate us. And to deter us from supporting Ukraine.
But we will not be intimidated.

We will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. And we will defend all Allies against any threat.

So, Mr. President,

It’s good to be together with you here today. And I look forward to continue to work with you and to welcome you to the Vilnius Summit.